Mining writing center data for information literacy practices Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The study aims to explore collaborations between writing centers and libraries which create opportunities for providing information literacy intervention for students doing researched writing. This case study gathered data from writing center logs to uncover if and how information literacy activity was occurring during consultations. Design/methodology/approach A representative sample of writing center logs recorded between September of 2013 and May 2014 was mined for frequencies of library and information literacy terms. Transaction logs were coded and analyzed according to the frames in the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Findings Information literacy is discussed in only 13 per cent of consultations. Referrals to librarians accounted for less than 1 per cent of all transactions. Students most commonly asked for assistance in formatting citations, but deeper information literacy conversations did occur that provide opportunities for engagement with the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Research limitations/implications Transactions were examined from one university. Although findings cannot be generalized, the results were applicable to local services, and this study provides a model useful for libraries and writing centers. Practical implications This study provides ample direction for future collaborations that will take advantage of the intersections of information literacy and writing instruction to improve student research skills. Originality/value Although much has been written about partnerships between libraries and writing centers, this study uniquely demonstrates a model for data sharing across institutional boundaries and how one library mined existing data from a writing center.

published proceedings

  • Reference Services Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Graves, S. J., Anders, K. C., & Balester, V. M

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Graves, Stephanie J||Anders, Kathy Christie||Balester, Valerie M

publication date

  • February 2017